Dorset Discovery Tour

Delightful Dorset

Code: MHHCR

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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • History
  • Meadows & hills
From £355.00 - 3 to 7 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

Our Discovery Tours really get into the heart of the countryside. These are sightseeing tours by minibus, visiting places not normally reached by a full-sized coach. Small groups and friendly leaders make this a great way to enjoy Britain at its best.

From our base at charming Lulworth Lodge, we’ll have the opportunity to discover the dramatic coastline of the Jurassic Coast as well as exploring the chalk downlands further afield.

Holiday highlights

  • Jurassic Coast and Weymouth
  • Thomas Hardy’s Dorchester
  • Quaint village of Cerne Abbas
  • Elegant mansion of Kingston Lacy
  • Wimborne Minster and the Isle of Purbeck

Great reasons to join us

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, plus five full day mini-coach tours with plenty of stops at places of interest and short walks of up to 1½ miles

  • Expert leader: learn more about the landscape and history of Dorset from your knowledgeable leader

  • Accommodation: enjoy high-quality accommodation and excellent food at Lulworth Lodge

  • Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays – explore together, eat together and relax together

Accommodation

Just a stone's throw from the beach at Lulworth Cove, Lulworth Lodge is a walkers lodge with      4-star Visit Britain Guest Accommodationmagnificent sea views from the private terrace.

As one of our smaller properties, it makes a comfortable and exclusive base for smaller groups.

Bedrooms

We have 12 bedrooms at Lulworth Lodge, some with spectacular views to the sea.

Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.

You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.    

 

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Facilities

All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.

Lulworth Lodge has a relaxed lounge area with open fireplace. There is also a bar and dining area. Free WiFi is available in the public rooms.

Outside the raised private terrace has seating with delightful views down to the cove.

Complimentary parking is available for guests in the public car park about 100 metres from Lulworth Lodge.

 

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Food

All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.

Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.     

Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).   

The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.

All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

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Itinerary

During your Discovery Tour you will have the opportunity to visit many fascinating places of interest. The following is a suggested programme, but your HF Holidays' leader may adjust it at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather, local opening times or the wishes of the group.

Friday: Arrival day

You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.

Saturday: The Isle of Purbeck and a trip to the seaside

We start the week with a visit to the Saxon town of Wareham and continue with a nostalgic trip on the Swanage Railway. After lunch in Swanage and a stroll along the promenade, our afternoon will be spent at Durlston Country Park to enjoy the stunning sea views and cliffs. And perhaps a cup of tea at the Victorian folly – Durlston Castle. Our journey back will follow the Purbeck ridge with views over Poole Harbour. 

Sunday: Weymouth and Portland

A highlight of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, the Isle of Purbeck offers a stone sculpture trail, views to Chesil Beach, and an iconic lighthouse at Portland. We finish the day in Weymouth, the base for the Olympic sailing events in 2012.

Monday: Free day

A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House. Why not walk to Lulworth Castle, or find out more about the Abbotsbury Swannery and Tropical Garden?

Tuesday: Cerne Abbas & Sherborne

Start the morning with a visit to the historic village of Cerne Abbas, known for the infamous giant resting on the hillside. We then visit Sherborne castle, the stunning home built by Sir Walter Raleigh, with a Capability Brown garden. The afternoon is spent in Sherborne, a charming country town, with a magnificent abbey, which traces its origins to Anglo-Saxon times.

Wednesday: Dorchester and Thomas Hardy

A journey back 2,000 years with a walk around the Iron Age fort of Maiden Castle as it fell to the Romans. Then time to enjoy the county town of Dorchester with its wide choice of museums. After lunch we touch on the life of Thomas Hardy with visits to his last home at Max Gate and his local church, St Michael’s, where he was baptised and buried.

Thursday: Wimborne Minster

Explore Wimborne’s maze of alleyways around the imposing minster. Don’t forget to seek out the chained library. An afternoon at nearby Kingston Lacy provides the contrast of an Italian palace in the Dorset countryside. Walk through to the woods to the Japanese Garden and visit the recently refurbished walled vegetable garden.

Friday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast.

Admissions to places of interest are not included.  Please allow up to £80 for admissions to all the places of interest we will be visiting.  The full adult price is given but there are usually good reductions for parties and seniors. If you are a member of the National Trust, English Heritage or similar, remember to bring your card for free admission to their properties.

Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.

Local area

Lulworth Cove is a justifiably popular destination, with day-trippers and holiday-makers drawn by the stunning local scenery. The Cove itself is a near-perfect circle which has been carved by the waves into the soft rocks. A 20 minute walk along the cliff path will take you to Durdle Door, the area's other geological wonder. This impressive natural sea arch has been carved from the harder chalk rocks. The free Heritage Centre next to the public car park is well worth a visit during your stay.

Facilities in Lulworth Cove are limited to a selection of pubs, cafés and souvenir shops. The nearest towns are Wareham, Dorchester and Weymouth, which all have a good selection of banks, chemists and supermarkets.

During your visit to Dorset you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:

The Tank Museum
The Tank Museum at Bovington, 20 minutes' drive north of Lulworth Cove, houses a particularly impressive collection of tanks from around the world. Trace the history from the tank's origins in the First World War to the present day. www.tankmuseum.org

Lulworth Castle
Situated just a couple of miles inland from the cove, Lulworth Castle is a 17th century mock medieval castle that was once the heart of an extensive estate. Having been gutted by fire in 1929 it was derelict for many years, but has since been completely renovated. www.lulworth.com/castle

Corfe Castle
The iconic ruins of Corfe Castle stand guard over a natural gap in the Purbeck Hills, about 30 minutes' drive from Lulworth. Dating from the 11th century it is now maintained by the National Trust. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/corfe-castle

Swanage Railway
Ride on this lovingly restored branch line through the glorious Purbeck countryside. Steam hauled trains run throughout the year. You may want to leave your car in the Park & Ride at Norden, about 30 minutes' drive from Lulworth, and use the railway to visit the attractive seaside resort of Swanage. www.swanagerailway.co.uk

Monkey World
Located near Wool, 20 minutes' drive north of Lulworth Cove, Monkey World is a great family attraction. Orginally set up to rescue mistreated monkeys from overseas, it is now home to a huge collection of primates of all shapes and sizes. www.monkeyworld.org

Brownsea Island
Brownsea Island is located in the middle of Poole Harbour – boats depart from Poole Quay and Sandbanks, about 40 minutes' drive from Lulworth Cove. The island is now a nature reserve, managed by the National Trust and one of last remaining places to spot red squirrels in the UK. Brownsea is also famous as the location of the world's first scout camp in 1907. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brownsea-island

Kingston Lacy
This fine country house and estate is located near Wimborne Minster, about 45 minutes' drive from Lulworth Cove. Dating from 1665, and now managed by the National Trust, it houses a fine collection of antiques, with many notable examples from the Middle East and Egypt. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kingston-lacy

Weymouth
Weymouth is a fine Regency seaside resort with an ever-popular beach and bustling harbour.

Athelhampton House & Gardens
Located near Dorchester, about 30 minutes' drive away, Athelhampton House is a fine Tudor building dating from 1485. The surrounding formal gardens are also impressive and were built between 1891 - 1899. www.athelhampton.co.uk

Thomas Hardy’s Cottage
The writer Thomas Hardy was one of Dorset’s most celebrated residents who used the local towns and villages around Dorchester as the setting for many of his novels. His birthplace near Dorchester is around 30 minutes' drive away and now owned by the National Trust. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hardy-country

Travel

Lulworth Lodge, Lulworth Cove, Dorset BH20 5RQ

By train: The nearest railway station is at Wool. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).

By taxi: The 5 mile journey from Wool railway station takes approximately 10 minutes. Taxis cost approx £12 per taxi. Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. We recommend pre-booking your taxi and the taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Lulworth Lodge Manager.

By car: The recommended route is via Bere Regis and Wool – although slightly longer this avoids the traffic through Bournemouth and Poole. From Bere Regis follow signs to Wool. At Wool cross the level crossing and turn left following signs to Lulworth Cove and West Lulworth. Continue for a further 4 miles to Lulworth Cove. As you enter Lulworth Cove Village, turn in to the public car park at the turning circle. Park your car here. This car park is free for HF Holidays’ guests. Pick up a parking permit from Lulworth Lodge. Exit the car park on foot by the Heritage Centre and follow the road towards the sea. Lulworth Lodge is 50 yards down this road on the left hand side. 

To help you plan your journey, use www.traveline.info

Leaders

Pat Beasley

Pat is a Blue Badge guide who has has lived in Cornwall for over 20 years, and is fascinated by discovering history through the landscape, especially the southern regions of the UK, with their wealth of special stories, flora and fauna to be uncovered. Before retiring Pat was a special needs teacher in Cornwall and other parts of the country.

 

Audrey Salter

Audrey is widely travelled, both in the UK and worldwide, and is an experienced HF Holidays’ leader and National Trust volunteer. Living close to the New Forest, her local knowledge ranges from butterflies to badgers.

Audrey appreciates the many opportunities to explore our history, architecture, culture and customs HF Holidays’ Discovery Tours provide. She enjoys seeking out local stories, historical personalities, unusual buildings and legends that enhance the experience on a holiday.

Audrey has a range of interests including gardening, reading, walking, art, history, opera and wild flowers.

Jill Durnford

Brought up in south-east England, Jill has lived in the West Country, Scotland and, since 1998, Cumbria.  She has a real passion for Britain, its history, geology and wildlife and loves sharing that with other people. She loves visiting stately homes and gardens but is also interested in how ordinary people lived in the past. Jill works as a Blue Badge Guide which is the perfect job for combining her wide range of interests with a love of communicating with people.  

Frances Carroll

Frances has been an enthusiastic student of English literature since primary school when a Mrs Darling sparked her interest! She has lived a very itinerant life with extended periods in the US and India. She worked as a fundraiser for third world charities for many years and travelled widely with them. 

Many years ago, she was involved in running a small theatre and even occasionally appeared on stage. Now she works as a Blue Badge guide, concentrating on literary tours and religious themes. As well as going to the iconic, obvious sites, she tries to include lesser known places and to entertain visitors with stories about the many people who are associated with an area - kings and queens, local legends, artists and writers.

She is also a keen hiker and tries to find routes that will allow her to visit some sort of literary shrine.

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
22 Jun 2016, 5:35 p.m.

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Good accomodation and excellent staff who were always cheerful and helpful. Meals were of very high standard and beautifuuly presented. Tour was fascinating, well planned and very well organised. Our minibus driver was well informed, drove with great care and was extremely courteous, He went out of his way to help all the passengers.

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Small venue led to group interacting very well.
20 Jun 2016, 4:48 p.m.

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It was a wonderful holiday in every way. The lodge is lovely and the food is superb.

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HF provide magnificent holidays which in my opinion provide for all needs
20 Jun 2016, 11:44 a.m.

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We have no hesitation in recommending HF Holidays to our contemporaries.

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Lulworth is/was exceptonal. The site is extraordinary, the service good, the meals better even than usual and beautifully presented, and the planning and execution of the Discovery Tour were exemplary, and showed a great investment of the leader's time in preparation.
18 Jun 2016, 7:41 p.m.

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Discovery Tours are excellent.

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The lodge was lovely, food was excellent, and the leader for our Discovery tour was terrific.
31 May 2016, 8:10 a.m.

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always meet friendly people.

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leisure activities covered extensive area and very interesting information given.
30 May 2016, 10:55 a.m.

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The food in my opinion this time was not as good as my holiday there in April 2015.

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Last year I went to Lulworth Lodge on the discovery walks holiday which I prefered to the discovery tours.
30 May 2016, 10:52 a.m.

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As I had a problem with some of the walking it would have been good for the leader to take this into consideration.
18 Jun 2015, 8:20 a.m.

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We have had holidays with HF since 1990 and plan to continue

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Our problem was that we ate too much food at dinner
17 Jun 2015, 8:20 p.m.

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Excellent holiday

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I really enjoyed the holiday Great leader Great atmosphere Super venue
17 Jun 2015, 8:17 a.m.

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Extremely enjoyable, as usual!!

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Lovely hotel and staff (Lulworth Lodge)

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
7 Apr 2017 MHHCR - Discovery Tour - Lulworth Lodge 7 £805.00 £770.00 Special Early Booking offer - £35.00 off pp Book Now
7 Apr 2017 MHHCR - Discovery Tour - Lulworth lodge 3 £355.00 £355.00 Book Now
10 Apr 2017 MHHCR - Discovery Tour - Lulworth Lodge 4 £465.00 £465.00 Book Now
16 Jun 2017 MHHCR - Discovery Tour - Lulworth lodge 3 £365.00 £365.00 Book Now
16 Jun 2017 MHHCR - Discovery Tour - Lulworth Lodge 7 £855.00 £820.00 Special Early Booking offer - £35.00 off pp Book Now
19 Jun 2017 MHHCR - Discovery Tour - Lulworth Lodge 4 £505.00 £505.00 Book Now
8 Sep 2017 MHHCR - Discovery Tour - Lulworth lodge 3 £365.00 £365.00 Book Now
8 Sep 2017 MHHCR - Discovery Tour - Lulworth Lodge 7 £855.00 £820.00 Special Early Booking offer - £35.00 off pp Book Now
11 Sep 2017 MHHCR - Discovery Tour - Lulworth Lodge 4 £505.00 £505.00 Book Now
13 Oct 2017 MHHCR - Discovery Tour - Lulworth lodge 3 £355.00 £355.00 Book Now
13 Oct 2017 MHHCR - Discovery Tour - Lulworth Lodge 7 £805.00 £770.00 Special Early Booking offer - £35.00 off pp Book Now
16 Oct 2017 MHHCR - Discovery Tour - Lulworth Lodge 4 £465.00 £465.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
  • Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
  • Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person